When Matt Campbell set the hook on a nice bass in San Miguel last month on Toledo Bend, he was thinking he had a solid 4-pounder on the line.

Turns out he was about 7 pounds light with his initial guess.

Campbell, 42, of Mitchell, was fishing with a watermelon red Mister Twister creature bait on March 26 when he caught a giant largemouth that officially weighed-in at 11.2 pounds at Toledo Town and Tackle.

“We were coming off a point that was running into a deep cove, maybe 8 feet in the back that went up to about 4 feet. She was right there on that hump, right at the mouth where it was dropping off to 8 feet,” he said. “I was just burning down the bank and she nailed it at that little point. 

“Me and my partner Louis Lee — neither of us knew she was that big until he had his hands on her. When it dove under the boat twice, I could tell then it was a pretty good fish pulling drag. Louis never even got the net. He looked up at me and said, ‘Are you going to get this fish in today, or not?’ And when I pulled it up beside the boat, he said ‘Wow,’ and went to grab it.”

After a brief celebration and with the big bass safely in the livewell, the men finished fishing the cove without any luck — and then headed over to T-Town to get an official weight. 

Since the big bass weighed more than 10 pounds, it was tagged and later released through the Lunker Bass Program. Campbell will receive a free replica of the trophy courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association

It was his largest bass ever, and his second official Toledo Bend lunker weighing more than 10 pounds. He was fishing with a Lew’s rod and reel, and used 15-pound Berkley fluorocarbon to reel in the hammer on what proved to be an otherwise uneventful day on the water.

“It was slow. We hunted and we hunted and we caught fish, but we had to work for them,” Campbell said. “We started deep and were catching a few, then the wind got up and I had a a couple shallow spots to try — so we just started hitting the banks and found her.”